In significant remarks read in the context of the Dadri lynching, President Pranab Mukherjee said core values of India's civilization that celebrate diversity, plurality and tolerance should not be allowed to wither away . “We should not allow core values of our civilization to wither away . Over the years, our civilization has celebrated diversity , plurality and promoted and advocated tolerance. These values have kept us together over the centuries. Many ancient civilizations have collapsed but the Indian civilization has survived because of its core civilizational values and adherence to them,“ Mukherjee said at a book release function in Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday .
The President's remarks were seen to underline the need for restraint as heated politics over the Dadri incident, where a Muslim man was killed over rumours of beef eating, led to inflammatory statements by BJP and Samajwadi Party MLAs and MPs with the events even resonating in the Bihar election. “If we keep them (civilizational values) in mind, nothing can prevent our nation from forging ahead. Indian democracy is a marvel and we must celebrate, preserve and promote its strengths,“ the President said.
The President's remarks came after the Centre issued a strongly worded advisory to states asking them to act without exception against attempts to disturb communal harmony and in the wake of criticism that the NDA government has been slow to criticize the violence in Dadri and failed to check BJP MLAs like Sangeet Som and ministers of state like Mahesh Sharma and Sanjeev Balyan. Senior minister in UP government Azam Khan, who had sought UN intervention in checking attacks on Muslims in the country two days ago, sharpened his attack on the BJP over the Dadri lynching issue on Wednesday .